Last week it became obvious to some Canadian viewers that film material used in some Netflix movies was actually from a recent tragedy in Quebec where a derailed freight train killed 47 people.
Despite many people talking about the film, including the Mayor of Lac-Mégantic, the city where the event happened, Netflix decided to do nothing.
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TL; DR Despite complaints from Lac-Mégantic locals, Netflix will not remove images from the 2013 train accident from their original films or series. A Netflix spokesman is scheduled to speak with Mayor Lac-Mégantic today.
If there's someone who thinks it's okay because a movie company is entitled to it, imagine a fictitious show or a movie that requires a video of a random building being demolished and deciding that the World Trade Center on 9/11 it's perfect. #Netflix #birdbox # Lac-Mégantic
– Barbara M (@chckndnce) January 17, 2019
According to CBC, Netflix addressed the mayor of the city to sit down today and discuss the use of the film in at least two confirmed Netflix originals.
So far, video was seen in the original Netflix movie Bird Box as well as the series travel. In both cases, the film is used as a piece of news broadcast within the productions.
However, many argue that using real-life records in fictional narratives manages to trivialize and sensitize tragedy at the same time.
Family members who have lost their loved ones in disaster are forced to face the horrors again, while viewers who do not know better are only allowed to assume that the film is a fake fire or a CGI creation.
tragedy occurred when a train's braking system failed, allowing the train to roll down and derail the city. The collision caused an explosion and an enormous fire when the train transported crude oil.
How a company as rich as #Netflix produces a movie like #BirdBox without checking where they took photos? Use #LacMegantic train train cadres where 47 people died in a movie is simply wrong and disgusting
– Nurse Bee, RN ??☃️ (@fitnursebee) January 17, 2019
explosion and the subsequent fire caused 47 deaths and destroyed nearly half of the city center, including 30 buildings.
The production company who produced and probably edited the film for Netflix, Peacock Alley Entertainment, apologized for the events tower.
While it seems they do not intend to take the videos out of the movie, they said they would try to replace them if they can.
That would mean finding similar images while trying to make sure the clips do not come from another fatal incident.
My heart goes to the inhabitants of Lake Megantic, who were once more victimized with images of fire that killed 47 of their inhabitants using the Netflix series and film.
– LeeAnn Lessard (@LeeAnn_Lessard) January 17, 2019
Stock film company who provided the Netflix movie, Pond5, purchased the videos from an anonymous collaborator.
They've recognized since then they should do better to inform customers and customers of the true nature of the filmed events in order to avoid such problems in the future.
Without words if they have removed the material from their database or if they stop selling it, though.